Friday, 30 September 2011

games translators (DE and FR mother tongue)

Just received from Miguel Bernal at Roehampton: 

Universally Speaking is looking for German and French mother tongue translators with an interest in video games and interactive media.More information at You can write directly to Loreto LSanzFueyo at with your CV for further details.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

post-doctoral research funding, Nottingham

Recent doctoral graduates in translation may be interested in the post-doctoral research fellowships currently being advertised at the University of Nottingham which is also about to launch a new Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies.

The research fellowships are aimed at exceptional postdoctoral researchers in any academic discipline represented at the University. In 2012, six Fellows will be recruited to start this two-year Fellowship programme. One Fellow will be recruited to each of the University's five Faculties, with a sixth excellent individual also being recruited.

Each fellowship offers:
  • Two years independent funding to conduct research while based at the University of Nottingham.
  • Participation in a mentoring scheme and career development programme.
Subjects covered: All academic disciplines represented at the University of Nottingham,

Length of Tenure: Two years guaranteed. Academic years 2012/13 and 2013/2014

Place of Tenure: The University of Nottingham.

Eligibility: Candidates must have submitted a PhD (viva does not need to have taken place) and have had no more than six years full-time postdoctoral experience by 1 October 2011.
Salaries will be set on the Research and Teaching Staff Scales grade 4 or 5 (£27,428 - £44,016) depending on experience. The salary may progress annually, subject to performance. An annual research expenses grant of up to £5,000 for each year the fellowship will be awarded, and where appropriate, support for childcare to a maximum of £5,000 per year will also be available.
For further information and details on how to apply, please see:
To apply, candidates must submit an expression of interest to the host school by: 5pm, 7 November 2011. Please quote ref: NARF/11

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cliff Becker prize, and poetry translation links

For anyone with an unpublished book-length manuscript of translated poetry in their drawer, the Cliff Becker prize might be just the ticket... A chance to see your work published in a bilingual anthology, and generally a very nice-looking initiative.

As a nice bonus, see this piece from Words Without Borders on a previously unpublished translation of the Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Mejía Sánchez by William Carlos Williams.

The PEN Translation Slams are a nice introduction to the challenges of poetry translation.

And not to forget the excellent work of the Poetry Translation Centre in London, and the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation, whose journal Poetry recently published a lovely special issue on translation which included translators' notes on the poems. See e.g. Conor O'Callaghan on his translation of a famous poem by Lorca...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Volunteer internship in San Francisco and job in Wiesbaden

MBETraining and Translations are hiring a permanent in-house German to English translator and trainer in Wiesbaden.

The microlending organisation Kiva is looking for a part-time translation volunteer co-ordinator in San Francisco, three days a week for six months from 3 October, to work with its 300 translation volunteers. Please note that this is an unpaid internship. Kiva are looking for speakers of French, Russian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

European Society for Translation Studies Wikipedia page

The European Society for Translation Studies now has its own Wikipedia page. You're all warmly invited to read and review.

The Society also has a website with useful translation research resources and a Facebook page if you'd like to get more involved.

Translation Market survey

Readers of this blog involved with any aspect of the translation industry have probably been sent a copy of the 2011 Translation Industry Survey. It sounds like a useful initiative. In case you have not come across it and would like to contribute the link is here:
The TM-Global Translation Market Survey 2011 deals with issues relating to business, technology, standards and quality management. The results will be presented to the TM-Europe 2011 conference held in Warsaw, Poland on September 29th & 30th (see: Moreover, a link to this presentation will be made available to all respondents who complete the full survey.

Completing all the questions should take approximately 15 minutes. The deadline for the survey is September 23rd, 2011. Those respondents who complete the whole questionnaire will be able to download the presentation on the 2010 survey given at last year's TM-Europe conference.

internship at UNOPS in Copenhagen

The UN is looking for a translation intern for the Communications Unit of UNOPS headquarters in Copenhagen for an October start. Applicants must be French native speakers translating from English and maybe Spanish as well. The internship is expected to last 4-6 months from October and is unpaid. The deadline for applications is 30 September.

Am forwarding this because it sounds like excellent work experience for the right candidate, but I am slightly wondering who would possibly be able to afford to work for free for 4-6 months, even with the promise of a greatly enhanced CV afterwards...? Hmmm. Any thoughts from readers of this blog, on internships, paid, partly paid or otherwise...?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

internships and job in translation and localisation

SAP in Vancouver are looking for a computer science graduate for an internship in translation tool development. Zooppa in Seattle is looking for interns in campaign management and localisation. Some remuneration is offered. Languages include French, German, Portuguese, Polish, Russian and English.

Matrix Communications AG in Munich are looking for a translator into French or English for a full-time in-house position.

Subtitling workshop, Dublin, 17 September

Maybe of interest to our readers in Dublin? 

A Practical Approach to Subtitling
An ITIA Workshop with Dr Jorge Díaz-Cintas

Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Saturday 17 September 2011 
Cost: €35 ITIA members (and members of other FIT associations); €45 non-members; €15 students/concession. 

Part 1: 11 am -12.30 pm and 12.45 pm to 2.15 pm
General Introduction to Audiovisual Translation and Subtitling
 This session will start by offering an overview of the different types of translation that take place in the audiovisual world, including accessibility to the media (i.e. subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing and audio description for the blind and the partially sighted), and will centre later on subtitling. A definition of this professional practice will be offered as well as a survey of the different types of subtitles in existence. The semiotics of subtitling, that is, the interaction between text and images will be discussed and participants will learn about some of the issues that constraint this particular form of translation. We will then take a look at the different conventions applied in what is considered standard practice in interlingual subtitling, and examples of strategies such as segmentation, condensation and reformulation will be offered. Towards the end of the session, there will be time for discussion regarding the changes taking place in the professional world and the new audiovisual translation practices that are cropping up in the market.

Part 2: 3.15 pm to 5.15 pm
The Technical Dimension of Subtitling  
This session centres on the technical dimension of subtitling, paying special attention to the space and time constraints that define it. The different tasks pertaining to subtitling will be illustrated, including spotting or cueing (i.e. deciding the in and out times of the different subtitles) according to the limitations imposed by the medium. Concepts like safe area and proportional lettering will also be covered. During this session, a professional subtitling program will be demonstrated so that participants can learn how the technical and technological dimensions of subtitling impinge on the actual written result. An insight into the working environment will also be presented and some time will be left at the end for questions. A list of useful websites and other sources of information will be given to all the participants.

Tutor: Jorge Díaz Cintas has a PhD in subtitling by the University of Valencia, Spain. He is a Senior Lecturer in Translation at Imperial College London, where he teaches audiovisual translation and translation theory at postgraduate level. He is the author of numerous articles and books on audiovisual translation, including Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling (with Aline Remael, 2007), Media for All (co-edited, 2007), The Didactics of Audiovisual Translation (edited, 2008), Audiovisual Translation: Language Transfer on Screen (co-edited, 2009) and New Trends in Audiovisual Translation (edited, 2009). He was the president of the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation since 2002 until 2010. He also works as a freelance translator and interpreter and since 2010 has been the Chief Editor of the series New Trends in Translation Studies. He is a member of the international research group TransMedia.
For further details please contact Annette at: cpd.itia at

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

For those of our readers in or near Cairo, this just through from the Translation Studies Portal and the Arabic Literature (in English) blog:

In Translation Series. Translations of Palestine: Elias Khoury’s Bab al-Shams. A Conversation across Texts. Humphrey Davies (Translator); Elias Khoury (Author); Yousry Nasrallah (Filmmaker)

Monday, 26 September 2011, 6 pm, Oriental Hall, American University in Cairo, Tahrir Square, Cairo.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Poems about translation 10: Miroslav Holub, 'Wings'

This isn't really a poem about translation but it's a poem which resonates strongly for me in relation to translation. Miroslav Holub's 'Wings' was translated from Czech by George Theiner (also available here):
We have   
a map of the universe
for microbes,
we have
a map of a microbe
for the universe.

we have
a Grand Master of chess
made of electronic circuits.

But above all
we have
the ability
to sort peas,
to cup water in our hands,
to seek
the right screw
under the sofa
for hours

gives us
For me there is something there that's very close to the distinction between a piece of machine translation software and a human translator. We need the electronic circuits (and we have to learn to get along with them) but there are also screws to be sought under the sofa, and peas to be sorted (funny how in Holub's poem these activities sound much more artistic!) and we need human translators to sought them, sort them, etc..

I came across the poem in a 1967 essay on Holub by Al Alvarez. Another remark by Holub quoted in the same essay really appealed to me:
There is no deep difference between the scientific mind and the artistic mind: both include the maximal creativity with the maximal freedom. Science is both theoretic and experimental. Art is only experimental.
If for 'art' we read 'translation', this is a beautifully succinct expression of the truth that no matter how much theory, what critical frameworks, what models one applies to the production of a translation, in the end the only question worth asking is 'does the translation work'? It's only through experimentation, the trying-on and jettisoning of possible solutions, that a translation can achieve excellence.

in-house positions

I've seen a few interesting-looking jobs advertised round recently, mostly due to Uwe Muegge, who apparently never sleeps... :) See also retweets at!/MATSnews.

In order of increasing distance from Portsmouth:

There's a company in Buckinghamshire looking for a biochemistry graduate with excellent German and native English for an in-house job with full training given.

LTC in Kingston-on-Thames is looking for a German to English translator for a full-time permanent in-house position. A company in London is looking for a French native speaker translating from English or German. Xerox in Welwyn Garden City are also looking for a French native speaker for a 12-month temporary contract.

Amazon's Seller Help and Education are hiring a project manager to look after localization and translation, based in Cork. Also in Ireland, Google is looking for a localization product team lead in Dublin.

SAP are hiring an English to German translator for a temporary full-time position in their Finance and Insurance department in Walldorf, Germany. Transline in Reutlingen, Germany, are hiring a German to English technical translator. in Luxembourg are also hiring in-house translators, native speakers of French, English or German, to contribute to the expansion of product selection on their European websites. Appointed candidates will be responsible for: 

    * Download of product detail page information from internal Amazon systems
    * Use of CAT tools to generate translation
    * Translate according to specific guidelines to make it in-line with Amazon's internal standards for product detail pages
    * Upload product content using internal Amazon tools
    * Work in close contact with country-specific product departments
    * Contribute to the overall efficiency of the translation process with suggestions for improvement
    * Take ownership of specific tasks within the translation team

[Syntactic apologies; I spent a few minutes trying to design a main clause that could govern all those bullet points but had to give up - Ed.]. 

It's a 1-year contract with a possibility of extension based on performance. See all Amazon job openings on Please indicate the language pairs you are able to provide translation for (source / target language).

    * Native speaker in at least one of the following languages: French, English, or German
    * Translation degree or at least 2 years of experience in the translation field
    * Strong writing and editorial skills
    * Ability to work under time pressure
    * Goal oriented and able to meet performance metrics for output and quality
    * Strong focus on details, accurate
    * Professional attitude, enhanced team spirit 

People who are interested in shoes will have a competitive edge [only partly joking here - Ed.].

Blizzard Entertaiment in France are hiring an English to Castilian Spanish games localiser. No mention of shoes here but a passion for heroic fantasy is a plus. Blizzard Entertainment also have an interesting-looking internship programme though there is no explicit mention of translation/localisation.
Amazon are hiring a technical writer for the Kindle team in Seattle. 

Twitter are hiring a 'community manager' based in San Francisco to work with their volunteer translators. 
A couple of jobs in Japan for Japanese to English translators and proofreaders here (part-time post) and here.

As always, no recommendation is made in respect of any of these companies, which aren't personally known to me (except Twitter. And Amazon I suppose. And, er, Google...). Good luck to any readers who apply!

Literary translation events and a webinar

Hi all, 

With the rapid approach of St. Jerome's Day (where did the summer go??), several upcoming events on literary translation are also rapidly approaching. (I was all set here to pop in a copy of Breughel's Tower of Babel, but then I remembered this very pretty image from a fourteenth-century German manuscript)

INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY 2011 at the Free Word Centre takes place on Friday 30 September, 9.00am-5pm. Organised by English PEN and other leading translation organisations, it will feature workshops on practical issues such as getting started, residencies and funding, and the report Taking Flight: NewThinking on World Writing, the latest publication from the Global Translation Initiative which features essays by Olivia Sears, Maureen Freely and Peter Stothard. The provisional programme can be downloaded here. The ITD symposium is a space for all those interested in the business of literary translation to network and share ideas. This year, speakers include Sioned Rowlands, Michael Kelly, Jane Aitken, Sarah Ardizzone and Charles Hazlewood.

You can also book tickets at half price for the International Translation Day ‘evening special’ with Ahdaf Soueif and Amanda Hopkinson. Tickets are also available online.
Venue: Free Word centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA
Tickets: Full day entry £20; £10 concessions, including light lunch and refreshments
How to Book: Call 020 7324 2570. For further details contact Emma Cleave, Writers in Translation Programme Manager, at emma at

There's also an interesting-looking conference (even if the title is a little difficult to parse) at the British Library:

Literary Translators: Creative, Cultural and Collecting Contexts

British Library Conference Centre, London
3 October 2011, 9:00am – 8:30pm

A one-day conference jointly organised by the British Library, the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts, the British Centre for Literary Translation, the University of Birmingham, Poet in the City, the Polish Cultural Institute and the Lithuanian Embassy

Keynote lectures:

Adam Thirlwell (novelist and author of Miss Herbert)
Daniel Hahn (British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia)

Participants to include:

Rebecca Carter (Commissioning Editor, Random House)
Ruth Fainlight (poet and translator)
Michael Frayn (playwright)
Rosie Goldsmith (journalist and broadcaster)
Hamid Ismailov (journalist and writer) and Robert Chandler (poet and translator)
Ros Schwartz (Chair, Writers in Translation Committee at English PEN)

The conference will be followed by our evening event, Czeslaw Milosz: A Centenary Celebration (Chaired by David Constantine, editor of Modern Poetry in Translation).

This conference aims to bring together translators, academics, postgraduates, writers, publishers, librarians and archivists to examine the various relationships and contexts around literature in translation. Speakers and delegates will explore the collecting of translators’ papers as a research, educational and creative resource alongside questions including publishing models for translation, the creative dynamics of translation and differences between genres, academic and popular responses to literature and translation, and the political and socio-cultural contexts in which literary translation originates and is received. The conference seeks to have impact beyond the day itself, cultivating collaborations and initiating opportunities for delegates to pursue innovative research, business and creative projects in the future.

Conference fees (including buffet lunch and refreshments):
£35 / £25 students

Please direct any enquiries to Rachel Foss (rachel.foss at or Andrea Lloyd (andrea.lloyd at

For full conference programme and to make bookings, please go to the British Library website at

For those of you not in the London area, eCPD webinars are holding a webinar on "Working as a Literary Translator" with Maia Figueroa in which
Maia will explain her sometimes rocky path to becoming a translator of
fiction and give an insight into the characteristics of this type of
translation. Based on her real-life experiences, she will share things
translators should know about contracts, royalties, intellectual
property, relationship with publishers, associations, etc., as well as
some dos and don'ts for aspiring literary translators.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Viva-cious congratulations are in order for Jonathan Evans, soon to be Dr Jonathan Evans!

He is the man to speak to for all your questions about authors who translate, and what they translate, and how, and why...

Well done Jon! Very well deserved.

Monday, 5 September 2011

translation tutors sought at Portsmouth

This may be of interest to some readers. Feel free to circulate to interested colleagues and networks.  Click here for more information or to make an application.

PTHP Lecturer in Translation Studies

  • Salary: £41.32 - £45.15
  • Job reference: 10002858
  • Closing date: 09.09.2011
  • Department/School: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Length of contract: Fixed term
  • Type of contract: Sessional
The School of Languages and Area Studies of the University of Portsmouth is seeking part-time hourly-paid Lecturers to contribute to our MA programme in Translation Studies.
Applicants should have a professional translation background, preferably in a specialist field, and/or experience of teaching translation at advanced undergraduate or postgraduate level. We are currently seeking tutors for Arabic, French, Italian, Polish and Russian into English and for English into Arabic. A postgraduate qualification in translation and/or membership of a professional association is desirable. Availability to teach both on campus and online will be an advantage.
For informal discussion about the tutor posts contact the MA Translation Studies course leader, Dr. Carol O’Sullivan on carol.osullivan at